From The Editor

The industry has had enough changes for a while

Vicky Boyd

Change is inevitable, they say, and with the start of 2021 comes a number of shifts. Dr. Mo Way, who for 38 years has been at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at Beaumont, will retire and ride into the sunset with wife Jeanie in February. The university already has posted a job notice for an assistant professor of rice ... Read More »

‘Semper Gumby’ took on new meaning in 2020

Vicky Boyd

The Marines have a motto, “Semper fidelis,” which means always faithful or always loyal. A twist on that is “Semper Gumby,” the motto of Marine parents that means always flexible, according to a former coworker whose son served. Considering the strange twists and turns this year has taken, those Marine parents may be onto something. Farming has always required flexibility ... Read More »

#stillfarming

Vicky Boyd

Several groups have taken to social media using the hashtag #stillfarming to let consumers know that agriculture is one of 16 essential business structures and that farmers continue to grow food during the coronavirus pandemic. As some farmers I know have joked, they’ve been social distancing alone in their tractor cabs for years, so self-isolating is nothing new. All joking ... Read More »

Groundwater: out of sight but not out of mind

Vicky Boyd

Buried deep below the soil surface, groundwater may be out of sight. Increasingly, though, the natural resource is anything but out of mind. Several efforts, both voluntary and regulatory, are ongoing to try to reduce groundwater overdraft and increase recharge. How these will affect agriculture remains to be seen and may not be known for years to come. Arkansas completed ... Read More »

Biennial rice meeting spurs open exchange of research info

Vicky Boyd

Every two years, rice researchers and allied industry representatives from around the United States and even the globe get together for a meeting of the minds at the Rice Technical Working Group. For two days, they share research results and discuss future studies focusing exclusively on rice. This year, more than 300 attended the 38th annual RTWG, which was hosted ... Read More »

New plant-based lobbying groups bear watching

Vicky Boyd

On its surface, the announcement that a new group has formed to lobby on behalf of plant-based consumers and business may seem innocuous enough. After all, rice is a plant that enjoys popularity not only for its worldwide dietary contributions but also for its positive environmental footprint here in the United States. But read further, and the goals of the ... Read More »

Program provides leadership succession planning

Vicky Boyd

As I looked out at the attendees of the recent rice leadership program alumni dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas, I couldn’t help but notice how many of today’s leaders were graduates of the program. Possibly even more heartening was the large number of young people who had recently completed the program and were poised to take on industry leadership rolls. ... Read More »

Researchers turn up the heat to prepare for global warming

Vicky Boyd

When you start looking at historical weather data, Arkansas and the rest of the Southeast haven’t seen a significant overall temperature increase since the early 20th century. What has changed in Arkansas and parts of the Southeast is how those temperatures are distributed, according to information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association National Centers for Environmental Information. Although the ... Read More »

Help us recognize deserving industry leaders

Vicky Boyd

As you thumb through this issue of Rice Farming magazine, you may notice nomination forms for two different recognition programs — the Rice Awards, now in its 28th year, and the third annual Rice Consultant of the Year. We don’t come up with the award recipients’ names ourselves — we rely on you, as their peers, to nominate them. The ... Read More »

Arkansas’ new truth-in-labeling law targets rice imposters

Vicky Boyd

The Arkansas Legislature recently passed a measure that sets strict definitions for a host of agricultural products, including rice, and requires food companies to accurately label their products. Gov. Asa Hutchison subsequently signed it into law, creating Act 501. The state legislation is an offshoot of efforts by USA Rice federally to have the Food and Drug Administration establish a ... Read More »